Christchurch explosion: Witness describes 'bodies hanging from house', sound like bomb

A Christchurch carpet layer who was only just down the street from a massive Christchurch house explosion has spoken of seeing bodies hanging from building's framework.

Six people have been injured following the large gas explosion in the suburb of Northwood, with the conditions ranging from critical to serious.

One house at least has been totally destroyed, with surrounding houses also damaged. Fire could be seen rising from the property while debris covered the street. At least 50 properties have been evacuated.

Carpet layer James Looyer, who supplied Newshub with footage of the devastated scene, told Newshub that it felt like an earthquake had struck the area.

"We are just carpet layers in Christchurch and we were just working pretty much 100 metres down the road from, just the next street over," he said.

"We just heard it pop off, we shot down the road there to see what was going on, and it all unfolded from there

"It just sounded like some sort of bomb. We all came running out of the house we were working in and stood on the road. We thought it was an earthquake to begin with.

"You could feel it shoot through the whole street, through your body. It was pretty full on."

Approaching the destroyed building, Looyer saw a shocking scene.

"It was a pretty a much fully collapsed house. We saw a couple of bodies hanging out of some of the framework and thought 'is he alright'? Hopped over and everyone got stuck in and made sure everyone was alright and out."

Cordons are currently in place around the scene and motorists have been told to avoid the area. The injured have been taken to hospital.

Emergency services are working to assess the damage, and looking for other gas leaks.